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(Mostly it was just nice to get acquainted with myself at such a direct angle! Before I had sex with someone with genital herpes, I needed to accept the very real possibility that I would become infected — and I needed to decide that it would be okay.
We don’t make a big deal about cold sores, so why is the same type of sore such a big deal once it hits below the belt?
(As a Silicon Valley firm, we have been in the online dating business for over 17 years!
You may think that, as an individual with herpes, your dating life is over.
A week went by, and we continued to abstain from sex, although we were seeing each other almost daily at this point. I already knew I had HSV I — typically expressed orally as cold sores on the mouth — but my partner wasn't sure if he had HSV I or HSV II.
As a woman with a deep-seated fear of HIV and plenty of education on the subject, I realized that I hadn’t spent much time studying the ramifications of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A common misconception is that HSV I is exclusive to the mouth and HSV II is exclusive to the genitals.
It’s also important to remember that HSV lives in your central nervous system, where it hibernates until it sees a good opportunity, such as when your immune system is weakened, to come out and multiply (causing an outbreak).
The outbreaks are merely expressions of an internal virus — the virus does not live on the skin itself.
If and when you meet people who further stigmatize herpes, consider shutting down the shame and spreading some education instead.
I asked myself: Would it be ridiculous to have a form of it myself?
The more I spoke to my partner about herpes, the more I saw that the biggest issue surrounding herpes is not the STI itself but society’s stigma.
When we met offline, we became intimate very quickly, but we abstained from having intercourse.
He told me I could take as much time as I needed to feel comfortable having sex with him.
After brushing up on my herpes facts, I felt incredibly vulnerable.